Maam Cross railway station, featured in the beloved 1950s Maureen O’Hara, John Wayne movie, will be refurbished as a major tourist attraction

After great efforts, the Connemara railway station at Maam Cross, featured in the Maureen O’Hara, John Wayne movie The Quiet Man, will be restored and converted into a major tourist attraction after a planning application was approved by the Galway County Council.

The station in Maam closed officially in April 1935 but it will now be transformed into a railway heritage center and family tourist attraction. The old signal cabin, which was demolished will be rebuilt and the old good stores refurbished.  The old cattle bank, water tower and passenger platforms will also be restored, the Connacht Tribune reports.

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A still of the Conemarra railway, in Maam Cross, Galway, in The Quiet Man.

A still of the Conemarra railway, in Maam Cross, Galway, in The Quiet Man.

The station sits on 8.5 acres of land and was acquired by the not-for-profit company the Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland (MGWR) with “a view to its restoration in the Connemara wilderness,” according to ConnemaraRailway.ie.

Their aim is to create “a working railway experience, drawing on early to mid-twentieth century themes of emigration, conflict, rural life, and of course ‘The Quiet Man’ which was filmed in the surrounding savage beauty of Connemara.”

The MGWR plan to recreate a snapshot of the West’s country railways and the significance they had on rural life.

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The Maam Cross station initially opened in July 1895 and served the hinterland of Maam Valley, Joyce Country, Carna, and Rosmuc. However, it was found to be uneconomic and the line became disused by the mid-1930s.

The station lay unused until the early 1960s when the station buildings on the platform were demolished and large sheds erected to house a seaweed factory,  this operation lasting until the early 1970s when it was closed. Since then the site has been used for storing such diverse materials such as wool and building materials.

Now that the planning permission has been granted it’s hoped that the Connemara station will once more “echo to the sights, sounds, and aromas of a working Irish country railway – complete with heritage trains – allowing families, tourists, all comers, and enthusiasts to once again experience an aspect of Irish rural social history that has all but disappeared in this State – an all-weather family attraction with widespread appeal!”

What do you think? Will you be visiting the new Maam Cross railway station? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ist tile july 2019

Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne, in The Quiet Man.